Image Courtesy Southern Ground/Varvatos/BMLGZac Brown Band's latest album, Jekyll Hyde, is now on sale featuring their latest #1 hit, "Homegrown." As always, the guys cover a lot of musical ground on the new project, and the title, Jekyll Hyde, is meant to capture the shifting moods of the new music.
Zac Brown says, "[The new album] kind of time travels and goes to different genres and goes to different periods in time, and there’s some [songs] that have a real kind of darkness to them and some of them have a light and some of them are full of emotion and kind of a mourning in some of the songs and then some of them are just a celebration."
While Zac Brown Band has explored rock, country, blues, reggae and gospel on previous albums, Zac says they've pushed the envelope even further on Jekyll Hyde.
"It’s about expanding," Zac explains. "It’s about growing as artists and as musicians and opening ourselves up to the world, and what else the world has. It’s about bringing people to music and bringing them to the show, and I’m excited."
Zac Brown Band launches their Jekyll Hyde tour Friday night in Nashville.
Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleTyler Farr's new album, Suffer in Peace, is out this week. As you might have guessed from the title, there are plenty of sad country songs on the new project, including his latest hit, "A Guy Walks into a Bar." Tyler named the album after one of the songs on the project, and he knew it would grab people's attention.
Tyler tells ABC Radio, "Suffer in Peace, for me, the title is kind of like a book, where you read a chapter, and if it's good and interesting, you want to read more and dig more into it --'I wonder what the rest of it's gonna be like,' you know? That's why I picked the title for the album."
Other album cuts, like "Withdrawals" and "I Don't Even Want This Beer," pull no punches when it comes to addressing heartbreak. While there are a few uptempo songs on Suffer in Peace, Tyler felt it was important to honor his love of classic country music with those sad ballads.
"I'm not a trendsetter," Tyler says. "That's been going on for years all the way back to Hank Williams to now. So, I'm just trying to keep it alive."
He adds, "There's a lot of stuff going on right now [in country music] that's all happy, rays-of-sunshine and flower songs, so I think a lot of other people got all the 'Happy Happy Joy Joy' stuff covered, so I guess I gotta cover the darker end of the spectrum, which I'm fine with 'cause I'm a sucker for sad songs."
Fans looking for some lighter fare will find it on Tyler's album-opening song, "C.O.U.N.T.R.Y.," and his duet with Jason Aldean, "Damn Good Friends."
Tyler says of his song selection for Suffer in Peace, "We tried to create a painting that had something for everyone."
Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockDarius Rucker is getting back together with his rock band, Hootie & The Blowfish, to perform "Hold My Hand" on CBS's Late Show with David Letterman Thursday night. The group's appearance on Letterman essentially launched Hootie's career in the mid-'90s, and they're making a rare appearance on the show in honor of his last month on the air.
Tim McGraw sits down for an interview and gives a performance on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! Tuesday night. He also appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Tuesday afternoon.
Jana Kramer is set to perform her new single, "I Got the Boy," on the Grand Ole Opry Tuesday night.
Lee Brice has released "That Don't Sound Like You" as the new single from his latest album, I Don't Dance.
Image Courtesy Republic NashvilleA Thousand Horses, Keslea Ballerini, Brothers Osborne, CAM, Chris Janson, Jana Kramer and Michael Ray are among the new artists performing at the CMA Music Festival's Bud Light Plaza Stage outside Nashville Bridgestone Arena. These concerts are free and open to the public during each day during the festival which runs from June 11 through 14.
Lauren Alaina, Greg Bates, Nashville star Chris Carmack and Sunny Sweeney are on the bill for the Belk Park Stage at Walk of Fame Park that weekend, too.
Go to CMAFest.com for a full list of talent performing free shows during CMA Music Festival this June in Music City.
Image Courtesy Joseph Llanes/Stoney CreekRandy Houser's new single, "We Went," has been delivered to country radio and will be available for download on Monday, May 18. It's the lead release from Randy's upcoming studio album, the follow up to his hit 2013 project, How Country Feels.
As for the new single, Randy tells Rolling Stone, "The song is about hanging out, a little bit of danger, running from the cops -- all things I grew up doing (well, maybe avoiding the cops is more accurate). But rhythmically and lyrically it's more progressive than what I've ever done."
Randy will be performing "We Went" on the road with Luke Bryan's Kick the Dust Up tour starting this Friday night.
Image Courtesy CMAEric Church feels right at home headlining arenas on The Outsiders World Tour, but he admits he didn't handle his first arena tour very well. His third album, Chief, had just broken through to country radio when he started playing those big rooms in early 2012.
Eric tells the Asbury Park Press, "We came from where we were really in our element in these bars, clubs, theaters, and we just owned those places. And then all of a sudden we're an arena act. And what I found is I was a little insecure in the fact that I didn't know how to play an arena."
Eric only had a few country radio hits at the time and didn't realize fans were also coming to hear him sing his notable album cuts, like "These Boots" and "Pledge Allegiance to the Hag." Now, those songs get just as much reaction from the crowd as his #1 hits "Springsteen" and "Talladega."
Says Eric, "With this tour, we've just been more confident to go out and play things that maybe people haven't heard as much of, those album cuts. The real fans that are there, they know everything."
Eric continues The Outsiders World Tour Thursday night in Boston.
Image Courtesy RCA RecordsMiranda Lambert's latest release, Platinum, will be a hard act to follow since it's been named ACM and CMA Album of the Year and won the Best Country Album Grammy in the past few months. Since she's only on the third single form the project, "Little Red Wagon," Miranda is in no hurry to start work on her next album, anyway.
She says, "I definitely am still riding out Platinum. I'm not even close to being tired of it yet. I feel like it's brand-new, even though it's been out a year."
Miranda is proud of the impact Platinum has had on women in country music, too. The second single, "Somethin' Bad" with Carrie Underwood, is a rare country duet between two female acts. She recently shared Song of the Year honors at the ACM Awards with her "Automatic" co-writers Natalie Hemby and Nicolle Galyon, too.
"I guess I'm inspired because of everything that's going on in country music right now," Miranda syas. "Winning Song with Natalie and Nicolle, it's three female songwriters and artists in their own right, and that makes me really excited for the future of females in country music."
Miranda is playing select shows this summer, including a June 6 date at Soldier Field in Chicago with Kenny Chesney's The Big Revival tour.
UMG NashvilleEricPaslay is a married man. He tied the knot with music publisher Natalie Harker at Front Porch Farms in Charlotte, Tennessee, on Sunday, according to Peoplemagazine.
The couple exchanged vows in front of 200 guests.
Commenting on her champagne-colored Vera Wang wedding dress, Harker tells People, "This was one of the only dresses I saw that had that old-world elegance to it. I think it's just really, really beautiful."
Paslay says of his bride, "[The best part] is knowing that my best friend is the steady star in my sky, and knowing that she'll always be there."
They will spend their honeymoon in Italy.
Paslay and Harker, both 32, got engaged last December. They had dated for two years but had been friends for seven.
Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleLady Antebellum's Hillary Scott didn't think twice about getting on board another tour bus after her bus was destroyed in a fire on April 16 on the way to the ACM Awards in Dallas. Everyone on board the bus got out OK, and Hillary turned down her tour manager's offer to put her on a flight back to Nashville from Texas.
Hillary says, "We all bussed back from Dallas, and I was intentional with getting back on, because it's like, when you fall off a horse, you get back on the horse. You know, that's a once-in-a-lifetime thing to happen, and I don't want to live in fear. I refuse to."
Hillary plans to hold on to that fearless attitude as Lady A launches their Wheels Up tour this Friday night in Lubbock, Texas.
When asked if she plans to change anything about the way she travels for this trek, Hillary says, "I mean, other than I think everybody, all the bus drivers will be checking the buses a lot more. But the things is, though, with [the bus fire], I think it was just such a fluke accident."
Lady Antebellum is taking Hunter Hayes and Sam Hunt along on the Wheels Up tour. Check out a full list of tour dates at LadyAntebellum.com.
Image Courtesy Nino Munoz/Capitol NashvilleDierksBentley's latest hit, "Say You Do," was still pretty new at country radio when he closed out his Riser tour. Now that the song is closing in on the top of the country chart, Dierks expects it to be a huge hit with audiences when he hits the road again in June.
"Getting back out there on the Sounds of Summer Tour and seeing what’s happened to this song is going to be a huge surprise for us," Dierks says. "[It's] something we’re really looking forward to.”
Dierks says his fans have always reacted strongly to "Say You Do," but that excitement has been growing in the past few weeks.
He says, "I’ve had a little taste of that in a few shows we’ve done -- just one-offs."
"Say You Do" is included on Dierks' latest album, Riser. His Sounds of Summer tour kicks off June 5 in Raleigh, North Carolina with special guests Kip Moore, Maddie & Tae and Canaan Smith.
Image Courtesy McClister/MCA NashvilleSam Hunt is happy to have a non-stop tour schedule these days, but he admits all that traveling is cutting into his time as a songwriter.
Sam tells Entertainment Tonight, "I have not been writing at all. I just haven't had any time to do that, but I'm excited to get back in the studio."
While he hopes to start writing new songs this fall, Sam knows he needs to get out of the bubble he's been in while living on a tour bus.
"There is a lot of life that I've experienced that will inspire writing," Sam says, "but I think I'm gonna have to find some time to do some living outside of the road to find some new experiences and new inspirations for new songs."
Sam heads out with Lady Antebellum's Wheels Up tour starting Friday, May 1 in Lubbock, Texas.
Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsCan Tim McGraw's Shotgun Rider Tour actually save troubled marriages? That's the claim put forth in a hilarious new video on Tim's YouTube page.
In the clip, spoofing ads for drugs like Cialis, guys suffering from their wives' INS, or Intense Nag Syndrome, are looking for ways to make their wives happy. When they go about seeking a cure, their doctor prescribes tickets to Tim's Shotgun Rider tour. The prescription seems to work, but the side effects may include pregnancy, hysteria, male dancing, unusually tight male jeans, fainting and air guitar playing.
Tim's Shotgun Rider tour kicks off June 5 in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Image Courtesy ABCReba has grown to love the drag queens who dress up like her and perform her biggest hits in clubs across the country, but she was thrown off the first time she saw a man dressed up in Reba drag.
Reba tells The Advocate, "One night in the early ’90s, shortly after [my single] ‘Fancy’ came out, I had a gentleman at one of our fan club get-togethers we’d have, and he showed up in full regalia -- total drag -- and it really ticked me off because his hair and makeup looked better than mine!”
Unfortunately, Reba didn't have time to get any tips from the drag queen because she had to go perform her show. She still sees Reba drag queens show up at her concerts from time-to-time, and it always gives her a thrill. "Imitation is a huge form of flattery," she says.
Now those drag queens can use Reba's new cosmetics line, Reba Beauty, to achieve the right look. Check out the first offering, the Deluxstick lip gloss shade Fancy, at Reba.com/Reba-Beauty.
Image Courtesy CMAJason Aldean and his wife, Brittany, just celebrated their one-month anniversary, but they haven't been able to spend much time at home as husband-and-wife.
Jason says, "I mean, we've been on the road pretty much the whole time since we got married. We really haven't had a chance to have a honeymoon or any of that stuff, but that's a cool thing. She gets to travel with me, and we get to go all over the country."
Jason and Brittany also spent 10 days in Europe last month while he played the Country to Country Festival. Having Brittany on hand on the road has been good for Jason.
He adds, "I think she just kinda keeps me a little more focused, grounded, which I think I kind of needed in my life, for sure."
Jason and Brittany tied the knot March 21 in Mexico.
Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsTim McGraw has gotten backlash from gun rights supporters, including the National Rifle Association, over his upcoming concert to raise money for Sandy Hook Promise, an organization founded in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, whose stated purpose is to help protect children from gun violence.
When asked how he is dealing with the headlines the concert has been generating, Tim tells ABC Radio, "I don't put a political blanket on what I'm doing. This is about helping people and leading with your heart. I think that that's what I try to do, and we're doing things are earmarked for a lot of good in the community."
Tim's fiddle player, Dean Brown, is a friend of Mark Barden, whose 7-year-old son, Daniel, was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting. Meeting Mark and his wife backstage at one of his concerts a few years ago had a big impact on Tim.
He says, "When you sit across from a family who've gone through such a great tragedy, it's just heartbreaking. And when you sit and have a conversation and you feel connected and they want you to help, and you feel like you can help, then you lead with your heart."
Tim goes on to say he thinks Sandy Hook Promise is a "great organization" that falls in line with his belief in spreading the message about mental health awareness among today's youth.
He adds, "When you talk about protecting our kids from violence and doing everything you can to protect our children, I'm all in."
As previously reported, the Concert for Sandy Hook Promise in Hartford, Connecticut this July is part of Tim's Shotgun Rider tour with Billy Currington and Chase Bryant, but Currington dropped out of the show last week, saying on his Facebook page he was bowing out because of the controversy, but would make a donation to a "local organization.”